[caption id="attachment_26437" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Facebook boot Düsseldorf[/caption]
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the German Ocean Foundation and the International Boat Show – Boot Düsseldorf – have come together to launch the “Ocean Tribute Awards.” The prize will reward selected projects in three areas: Business, Industry, and Science. Boot Düsseldorf will be held from January 20 to 28, 2018.
HSH Prince Albert II, who participated last year at the Ocean Symposium, as part of Boot Düsseldorf, said: "The marine environment is now deeply threatened. There is, at the foundation of this Prize, the importance of mobilising as much as possible around this cause, and to draw the attention of our contemporaries to this requirement which must all bring us together. (...) I wanted my Foundation to join this beautiful project.”
The members of the Ocean Tribute Award jury, which met in Düsseldorf on November 22, are Monika Breuch-Moritz, meteorologist, President of the German Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and member of the Advisory Committee of the German Ocean Foundation; Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf; HE Bernard Fautrier, Vice-President of the Prince Albert II Foundation; Dr Hartmut Graßl, President of the Federation of German Scientists and President of the German Ocean Foundation; Dr Michael Orbach, Anthropologist, consultant at Duke University, founding member of Surfrider Foundation and member of the advisory board of the German Ocean Foundation; and Robert Marx, President of the German Water Sports Association and Boot Düsseldorf.
Seabob, the luxury sea toy maker, will award a prize of €1,500 to each winner. The "Blue Motion Night" awards ceremony will take place on January 22, 2018, in Düsseldorf.
[caption id="attachment_26273" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/DC[/caption]
Government Services have started the first phase of a clean-up operation on the cliff faces of the Rock. The objective is to rid them of certain invasive plant species, preserve heritage species and limit the risk of falling rocks above the Port of Fontvieille.
With the aim of preserving local biodiversity, operators store invasive plants and dangerous stones in large white bags hanging on the cliff. To facilitate their work in the field, species identification sheets are available.
To define the areas with a conservation issue, an inventory of the area produced an exhaustive list of alien species and species of heritage interest. Training on good plant management practices was also organised for those taking part.
This clean-up operation will take place in three phases that will follow each other during the winter. The entire programme will be completed by the end of 2019 by cleaning the areas below the Oceanographic Museum and will conclude with a monitoring of the eradication of invasive alien plant species on these sites.
It’s no secret that the ski industry on Europe has been under threat for some time. The most recent data available, from 2015, showed single-day skier visits down 2.5 percent in France and 5.2 percent in Switzerland, while overnight stays in these two destinations have been on a steady downhill slope since 2004.
Both cost (equipment hire, flight, accommodation and currency fluctuations) and climate change have been blamed for the crisis but developers are trying to find ways to reach new clients and keep them coming back.
Money has been spent on infrastructure and reviving existing resorts, which, according to The Spectator, has “created a more nuanced class of real-estate investment is emerging, capable of generating tidy returns for the careful buyer”.
Enness International, a specialist, high-end lending division of Enness, which caters for clients looking to acquire or refinance overseas property, specifically those located in Monaco, France, The Balearics and Switzerland, has reported an increase in demand for ski chalet finance.
Managing Director Hugh Wade-Jones commented: “With winter firmly upon us, many of our clients are taking to the mountains of Europe to enjoy another season on the slopes. From Courchevel to Klosters, winter resorts remain as popular as ever – but with the best lodges and hotels getting booked up early, we’ve seen an increased demand from clients looking to purchase a place to call their own.”
Mr Wade-Jones, who along with his business partner Islay Robinson opened a Monaco office earlier this year, added, “Typically, our clients want to truly make the properties their own by either refurbishing or securing construction finance in the Alps.”
There are several key considerations for those trying to arrange construction finance in the Alps, Mr Wade-Jones pointed out, starting with ensuring the money you plan to spend is actually adding to the value of the property. “The project cost needs to be in line with the gross development value, or GDV. It’s more challenging to secure a large sum for a purely aesthetic overhaul, for example, if it isn’t going to significantly change the value of the property.”
And while any keen skier knows, location is key, Enness has noted an interesting trend in which valuations have been strong in areas that haven’t been showing a recent history of good snow. “For skiing resorts, this seems worrying. Megève hasn’t seen good snow for several years, but valuations are still coming back as positive. This is a risky game. Spots such as Courchevel 1850 and Meribel are far better bets.”
Timelines should reflect securing the right permits and securing development finance, which in the Alps can be a challenge for clients from a range of nationalities. However, the process of purchasing ski property can move quickly with the right lender, who can, in some cases, arrange finance for 100 percent of both the purchase and construction.
Another potential pitfall, said Mr Wade-Joes, is Assets Under Management (AUM) requirements. “Generally, you’ll need to place at least 25 percent of the global loan amount – the gross loan – as assets under management – for the duration of the facility. The entirety of this amount typically needs to be transferred on day one of the loan.”
This is an expectation Enness feels is important to manage. “Clients from the UK and America are often less accustomed to placing AUM, so this can be a sticking point,” explained Mr Wade-Jones. “However, while we have managed to negotiate lower rates of AUM for clients in the past, this will be a requirement from European lenders most of the time.”
Article first published November 16, 2017.
After many months of planning and much time taken in obtaining official permissions, jack hammers bit into cement two weeks ago and the work to prepare the installation of the new Library Lift has begun in earnest at St Paul’s Church in Monaco.
Predicting the completion of construction projects is always a bit foolhardy, but a working lift in place by mid-May 2017 now seems possible. This will enable churchgoers and others to access the Library, a popular venue for meetings, without having to negotiate two flights of steep steps.
To celebrate the beginning of the work to install the new lift, Samantha Stirling and her Library Lift Campaign Committee are organising a cocktail fund raiser to take place on December 6, at 6 pm, in the Chaplain's Apartment, located one floor below the church.
This is an opportunity for all the groups that make use of the St Paul's Library to come together and celebrate the project to provide easier access to the library.